Manchester is the second worst city in the UK for software piracy. That's according to the Business Software Alliance, which has emailed thousands of firms in the North-West city to warn them that it will be carrying out raids on those it suspects are using illegal or unlicensed software.
The move is the latest campaign to clamp down on the use of pirated software, which it claims costs the UK around £1 billion a year. Firms now have six weeks to get the correct licenses or stop using software if they do not wish to be prosecuted. The body has already identified five firms which it alleges have "flouted" copyright laws.
"Software piracy has a devastating effect on the economy – the sector employs 40,000 people in the UK," argued BSA's UK committee chair, Julie Strawson. "We will be providing a suite of tools to enable the business to look at their software and audit whether or not they are legal."